Election fever in Tanzania rose a few degrees this month, a little over 2 months before the Presidential campaign officially kicks off. Signs that political maneuverings in advance of the 2015 election have begun were confirmed by the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).How ever, like elsewhere in Africa, differences in policy positions do not define how elections are decided in Tanzania. Campaigns are mostly fought around the personalities of those involved. On October 25, Tanzanians going will be going to the polls to decide on who should be their next leader, after President Jakaya Kikwete ends his second and final presidential term. The leader of the fifth phase government is expected to steer the nation through the most challenging and exciting era in the country’s history.
Some of the aspirants say tackling poverty will be top in their political agenda and vow to guide the nation into middle income statusAmbassador Ali Karume , son to First President of Zanzibar, the late Abeid Karume, is on Monday expected to formally declare his interest to vie for Union presidency through Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in the October general elections.
The event is pencilled for Dunga Village, Central District of Unguja Island. Amb. Karume, a retired long serving Tanzanian envoy to Europe becomes the first Zanzibari to come out in public to declare interest for Union presidency, while the African Union (AU) Ambassador to the United States, Ms Amina Salum Ali, is preparing to collect CCM party nomination forms on Wednesday in Dodoma. “I do not need to organise a big gathering to declare interest.
I am prepared to lead Tanzanians to better future should my party, CCM, endorses me as its flag bearer in the next general elections,” said Ms Amina. According to CCM nomination timetable, Wednesday (June 3) to July 2, this year is when members are supposed to collect and return filled nomination forms.
The Chama Cha Mapinduzi party has ruled the east African nation since independence in 1961 and the fractious opposition is expected to challenge its position in a parliamentary and presidential vote on Oct. 25.for the first time after they form new Alliance UKAWA. The East African country's outgoing president says that two terms are more than enough for him, despite the tendency of some of his neighbours to stay on longer.However, the line of potential contenders is already crowded and continually getting longer.More than two-dozen key members of CCM are holding serious conversations with their nearest and dearest: their families, their friends and their supporters. In addition, at least ten of these members have encouraged (or at the least failed to discourage) supporters from floating their names.If there is one thing you can say about the 2015 presidential field, is this: It is going to be huge.
Historically, the nomination process began with an establishment’s favorite and a pack of challengers with the establishment’s candidate usually winning. We have experience this in 1985, 1995 and 2005 with President Mwinyi, President Mkapa (after early front-runner P.M. John Malecela candidacy was derailed), and President Kikwete respectively.This time however, there is neither a favorite candidate nor a powerful political figure, like Mwalimu Nyerere, that could influence the nomination outcome.The early political junky opinion shows roughly equal support for two prospective candidates: Minister Bernard Membe and former PM Edward Lowassa. Yet, their support is not strong enough to dissuade other However, Lowassa and Membe have become deeply polarizing figures within the party and this may prove to be their greatest weakness. In fact, there is a scenario where should one of them emerge with the nomination next year, it could leave the party deeply divided heading into a general election, something that party strategists want to avoid. The challenge for CCM then is whether there is a credible alternative out there, an individual who can unify these different factions and also prove popular with the public at large.candidates from jumping in.
Sumaye has been trying to claim the mantle of that alternative candidate. But he is old news. Closer to his 70s now, he sought the nomination in 2005, only to lose badly, failing to even make it to the final round of voting. It is difficult to see how things can turn out differently this time around. Meanwhile, Wasira has been a good soldier within the party, and despite his high popularity among members, it is unlikely that he will win the nomination. Similarly, the chances of CCM nominating Ngeleja are slim to none.
What about Mr. January Makamba? Well, he has been generating considerable buzz since he was elected to parliament in 2010. A former aide to President Kikwete, he has seen his stock rise amongst young people and intrigued others in the business establishment. The challenge for him is whether he can overcome the suspicion of youth that permeates Tanzania's political culture (he is 40 years old) and his perceived lack of experience in governance, to secure the nomination. But in a country whose 78% of its population is under 35 years old, Mr. Makamba's youth can be an asset. The question is whether he can leverage this demographic reality into an electoral force within CCM. Only time will tell.